Holiday Sips and Tips

The holidays are a time when we often worry about selecting the “right” wines to accompany the delicious assortment of foods that will adorn our festive tables — and the abundance of advice that exists can sometimes feel overwhelming. Following are a few tips designed to eliminate the stress of making the “right” decision, so that you can relax and enjoy the day!

First, for big holiday meals don’t overcomplicate the wine selection. It can be as easy as simply opening a few different types of wine and letting people choose their favorites.

If you have a special, prized bottle of wine in your cellar, bring it up for the holidays and open it before dinner. Let your guests enjoy all of its delicate flavors. This might be a perfect time to offer a toast to those most special in your life.

At the table, food takes center stage. So serve several bottles of food-friendly, less expensive wines that blend well with the wide variety of dishes that you are serving. Then, sit back and enjoy your gathering.

Several Olympic Peninsula Wineries are offering “holiday” wines, perfect for sipping or for pairing with a variety of foods.

Port Townsend’s Sorensen Cellars recently released a 2007 Malbec from Two Coyote Vineyard near Zillah. Beautifully dark and inky in color, with a nose of Mountain Huckleberries that carries over onto the palate. A terrific wine to go with hearty winter stews and cassoulet. $20.00 per bottle. Place orders at the winery at 360.379.6416.

In Port Angeles, Olympic Cellars’ new La Galopine, a Roussanne and Viognier blend, is perfect for sipping before your holiday meal. This white Rhone blend offers up luscious aromas of fresh stone fruit, dry yet vibrant with dancing acidity. Barrel fermented and aged “sur lies” for 12 months. The wine is made with grapes from Ciel du Cheval, considered Red Mountain’s top vineyard. These grapes are sold only to 20 Washington wineries. NEW RELEASE: $23.99

Perfect for the table, Olympic Cellars’ Cranberry Jubilee holiday wine is medium-bodied with a fruit-filled cranberry finish. Crisp, and just a little bit sweet, the wine is decadent with leftovers from your turkey dinner. $15.99.

Harbinger Winery, also in Port Angeles, just released its 2008 Cranberry Bliss, an off-dry blend of Barrel-fermented Rose, Chardonnay, and Cranberrry wine. The cranberries are harvested from a bog in Grayland, Washington. The wine is a great match for just about any holiday “gastronimical situation,”  be it salmon, sushi, or ham. About 50 cases are available to the public, and they will be gone by the New Year. Pick up your bottle today!

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